A specific type of Red Right Hand and Evil Scar, this occurs when a character (almost always a villain, usually but not always male), has a normal, generally handsome face on one side, but a disfigured, scarred face on the other side. To hide this they'll sometimes stand with their Face Framed in Shadow, and if they're feeling dramatic they'll greet the heroes with a Face-Revealing Turn. Can be accentuated with a Two-Headed Coin.
A variant is for a character to literally have two faces, one in front and one in back. The two faces will typically have different expressions, and are used to represent different moods on the character's part. The Trope Codifier for this version is Janus from Classical Mythology.
May also indicate a Split Personality. Sometimes, as in the trope namer, used to represent a Duality Motif.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
Mello in Death Note ends up with a scar over half his face after blowing up a building while he was still inside. One splash page in the manga also shows the scarring to extend down his neck, however the burn scar only covers his face in the anime.
His left side is quite normal apart from the lack of hair caused by the scarring on the top of his head. He actually lives in a world where the plastic surgery to fix his face would be a piece of cake, or he could even buy himself a completely new face, but he chooses not to, since his horrible scars give him presence and charisma he never used to have as a bland bureaucrat before his accident.
Obito, after having half of his body crushed under rocks. The right side of his face is full of scars to this day, while the left side is untouched.
Mukuro of YuYu Hakusho, whose body had been completely stripped of flesh on one side with strong acid. Though Mukuro is different from most examples, being a not-so evil demon (given a choice between Yomi and Mukuro, Raizen told Yusuke to side with Mukuro) and being female.
Besides, said scars were self-inflicted, as she figured that uglifying herself would be the only way to escape her abusive caretaker (who did abuse her sexually, too).
Baron Ashura / Ashler from Mazinger Z takes this a step further. His entire left half is male, while her right half is female. This is carried over into Ashura's voice, which is male or female when only one half is shown, but speaks in both simultaneously when both halves are visible.
Marquis Janus and Gandal, two villains from the sequels (Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer) also had two faces: Yanus had a human face she used to blend among humans, and her true, demonic-looking face was on the "back" of her head, covered with strands of hair; on the other hand, Gandal had two personalities, and his face switched to reflect what personality was the dominant one in the time.
Jagi from Hokuto No Ken has the left side of his face fitted with a metal brace then hidden with a helmet to keep his head from exploding after a encounter with his younger brother Kenshiro.
In the same way, Yubel from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is halved by male and female sides of the body, though in the English dub she's generally referred to as female, as her face is mostly feminine with two differing eyes rather than actual facial halves.
Balalaika of Black Lagoon has extensive scarring on the right side of her face as a result of a war injury during her time in Afghanistan. Despite the scarring, she's actually still beautiful, but the gangsters of Roanapur still take to calling her "Fry Face" behind her back (though not to her face — she tends not to like that).
The maritime leader of the Kokuboro in Kekkaishi, Byaku, has one half of his face being a Bishōnen, but the other side of his face is horror and disgust, particularly because of what he can do to you with the worms and bugs he summons out of it.
Rosemarie from Claudine is a rare heroic example. She ends up like this after the horrible incident where her teacher Louis kills both Claudine's father and the old man's lover Cecilia (who is Louis's older sister) via burning down the place they were staying in.
Jiraia from Gintama, though his whole face is burned.
Kariya Matou from Fate/Zero has a hideously disfigured left side of his face as a result of the crest worms in his body. The anime adaption toned it down a bit, however.
In Detective Conan, we have the novelist Hideomi Nagato. He had the left half of his face horribly burned when, as a teenager, he rescued a little girl from her burning home. (A fire that he and his friend Mitsuaki caused as a prank, and Hideomi never forgave himself for it). Ever since then he became a Reclusive Artist, and the few time he left his studio he wore bandages on his face. And we only saw Hideomi's whole face when his lifeless body was found inside the Nagato mansion's fountain, hours after he commited suicide.
Two-Face from the BatmanRogues Gallery is probably the oldest modern example. Harvey Dent was Gotham City's district attorney until he had acid thrown at him, permanently disfiguring his face and giving him a split personality, between Harvey Dent and Two-Face. He now has a fixation on duality and chance, committing crimes around the number 2 and making all of his decisions by tossing a two-headed coin that is scarred on one side. When faced with a moral decision he flips the coin; if it comes down scarred side up he commits an evil act, if clean side up he does not.
The Dark Knight features an allusion to the first origin story of Two-Face in Harvey Dent's first scene, when Dent is overseeing the prosecution of Sal Maroni and a witness tries shooting him from the stand with a pistol, only to fail because it's a Chinese carbon fiber weapon. Here, Harvey's transformation into Two-Face is when he is tied up in a warehouse. Trying to break loose of his restraints, he ends up getting the left side of his face soaked in diesel fuel. In the subsequent explosion, despite Batman's efforts to pat out the flames, all of the skin on the left side of Dent's face gets burned away, leaving what is pictured at the top of the page.
Mazikeen from The Sandman, who has no skin on the right half of her face, and is not a villain (although she is a demon). She might have annoyed Delirium, but it's not entirely clear.
In Lucifer a well-meaning individual with newly-found magical powers turns Mazikeen's face symmetric and conventionally beautiful while she's unconscious, mistaking her appearance for horrible deformation. Mazikeen, who considered herself beautiful before, swears bloody revenge. The practical reason for the change was probably to get rid of her idiosyncratic speech pattern caused by having only half a mouth, allowing her character to develop without extreme annoyance to the reader.
The villain/goddess/force of reality Hela from Marvel's Thor qualifies... but it's only visible if you steal her cloak. Her appearance (although not the cloak) is from the source mythology (Hela is an alternate spelling of Hel), which had her as this trope some of the time.
The Legion of Super-Heroes villain Tharok is a cyborg who is split exactly down the middle. He wears clothes that cover his human side, but not his robot side (however that works)
The Comedian from Watchmen could arguably qualify: his face is quite handsome, but the right side has a hideous scar running from his mouth to his cheekbone, making him appear to be constantly leering (echoing both his name and the infamous stained smiley face logo of the comic).
Jonah Hex is a rare heroic example. A gunslinger resembling to Clint Eastwood, he got a red-hot tomahawk pressed to the side of his face, giving him a very ugly disfigurement similar to Two-Face's.
A horizontal example occurs in Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash; Jason gets all the flesh between his neck and his nose blown off, leaving the entire bottom half of his skull exposed.
In the second-to-last issue of The Twelve, Captain Wonder's face is half burned off in his ultimate confrontation with Dynamic Man. He later starts wearing a helmet to hide his disfigurement. It covers up his the scarred part of his face but leaves the other half exposed, no doubt because Helmets Are Hardly Heroic.
Jacqueline Hyde in All Girls School. One side of her body is a normal schoolgirl, while the other is a twisted Mr. Hyde style monster.
Calliope's appearance in Brainbent is one of the very few Moe examples of this trope. She's an adorable little girl with serious burns on the lower half of her face, which she covers up with a decorated surgical mask.
Hivefled contains two examples. Aradia was less severely injured than in canon, and is now a cyborg instead of a ghost in a robot body. Gamzee's Spirit Advisor Sennir Lilura appears as he did at the moment of his death, with half of the flesh on his head and neck torn off.
Alec Trevelyan in GoldenEye, although not nearly as badly disfigured as the above. Interestingly, he uses Janus as a code name, referencing a Roman god with two faces (one on the back of his head).
A low-level mook in Casino Royale, Mollaka, has a melted earlobe caused by handling chemicals for use in bombs.
Raoul Silva in Skyfalllooks like this with his prosthesis removed. A dodgy Cyanide Pill left him disfigured instead of actually killing him; without his dentures, his left cheek is sunken and his eyelid droops.
Mel Gibson as the title character in The Man Without a Face.
Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) ends up like this in the opening of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, on account of the UFO giving him sunburn. Half of his face was protected from the shade of his automobile. This results in a later scene where Roy and the female lead laughingly compare burns.
Half example: There's a bit in the film version of American Psycho where Patrick Bateman kills someone with an axe, and the blood splatters all over one half of his face. At one point the camera films him in a way that shows only the clean side, for a moment, and he turns around.
The Mayor from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas who is a literally two faced politician- one face is happy and skin coloured while the other is sad and grey. Interestingly King Malbert from Igor (voiced by Jay Leno) does bear quite a resemblance to him.
In the movie Surf Ninjas, Leslie Nielson plays Colonel Chi, who had half of his face repaired with cybernetics after having it crushed. When you first see him, he's looking to the side, showing only the flesh half of his face. He then does a Face-Revealing Turn to show his metal half.
In Zardoz, speed-aging is used as punishment for the Eternals. One character is aged on only one side of his face, for no real reason (well, other than The Seventies).
Another nonvillain example is Orlando Bloom's character in Haven after acid is thrown in his face
Former child actor turned global superstar Ricky Coogan from Freaked is turned into a half-man, half-goblin◊ by an evil freakshow ringmaster. "I wonder if Gremlins 3 is casting..."
Freddy Krueger was originally supposed to have a half of his face being a bare skull, but it couldn't be done due to the special effect limitations at the time. The planned look is still used on some of the original posters.
She Freak, a weak 1960s remake of Freaks, ends with the villainous main character turned into a sideshow attraction, half her face somehow turned to a cartoony monster face.
Due to an accident involving a combination of acid and fire, Marty from Slaughter High ends up like this. It gets worse at the very end, when he randomly rips off the scarred portion of his face.
There's a specific point in Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil when Chad goes from crazy but functional to just plain crazy, and it begins with him getting horribly burned on the left side of his body. As the protagonists frantically try to start their car, he comes at them with an axe, looking an awful lot like one of the slasher-movie villains he constantly equates them to.
Charlie Houk from Land of the Dead has burn scars on the right side of his face, making him this.
Non-disfigurement example: In a scene from Zorro the Gay Blade, George Hamilton has one side of his face made up like powdered-and-primped Ramon de la Vega and the other, like manly Diego de la Vega with a painted-on mask. He changes his vocal pitch and accent each time he turns his head.
The character Abby in Dread has a port wine birthmark that covers most of the right side of her body, including part of her face. Considering that the film is about a Psycho Psychologist conducting experiments on fear, the similarity to Harvey Dent is very likely intentional.
Near the end of Machete Kills, Luther Voz gets shot in the face with a flamethrower, burning half of his face. He angrily hides it with a mask.
In The Box, the messenger with his disfigured left cheek.
Lady Vampire in Monster Brawl gets such a look when Mummy's pendant that shoots solar energy rays hits her.
The Egyptian Queen Nitokris, as described in H.P. Lovecraft's short story "Under the Pyramids" (ghost-written for Harry Houdini): "By his side knelt beautiful Queen Nikotris, whom I saw in profile for a moment, noting that the right half of her face was eaten away by rats or other ghouls.
Torak from David Eddings' The Belgariad had this affliction to a large extent, although he covers it with a living mask. Note that half his face was set on fire by a pissed Artifact of Doom, and because the gods don't have a built-in ability to heal (since they aren't generally capable of being injured) it's still burning after several millenia.
Ged from A Wizard Of Earthsea of the Earthsea Trilogy has a half scarred face from an encounter with a vaguely defined creature that he accidentally summoned. (It later turns out to be, appropriately, his own dark doppelgänger.)
Tehanu provides a full body example of this trope. Having been horribly burned by her parents prior to the events of the book.
K.A. Applegate seems to like this trope - she did it with Hel in Everworld, Taylor in Animorphs (although her ruined side was covered by artificial parts), and again with 2Face in Remnants. Though Hel being beautiful on one side and decayed on the other is true to the ancient Norse myths.
Sandor "The Hound" Clegane from A Song of Ice and Fire is another example. He received his wounds at age six when his brother Gregor found him playing with one of his long-discarded toys and shoved his face into a brazier. However, while you probably wouldn't call him heroic, he's not really evil either — his face often makes people automatically assume he's a monster, but he ultimately subverts the villainy associated with this trope. Also subverted with Brienne of Tarth (as far from a villain as you can get) and princess Myrcella (an innocent nine-year-old girl), who were both disfigured in "A Feast For Crows." Myrcella's cheek was slashed to the bone by Gerold Dayne and she lost an ear on the same side of her head and half of Brienne's cheek was chewed off by Biter.
Redwall's Slagar the Cruel has one side of his face mutilated and paralysed by adder venom, and wears a silk harlequin mask to hide it. (The mask also helps since he runs a travelling show that's a front for a child slavery ring.) In a later book, Riggu Felis gets the lower half of his face ripped entirely off, and hangs a strip of chain mail from his helmet to hide it. What with the mask and the fact that missing his nose and lips makes his voice sound really weird, he comes across as the Furry Fandom's answer to Darth Vader.
In Scott Lynch's book Red Seas Under Red Skies, the character Selendri exhibits this. The entire right side of her body is burned horrifically due to a moisture-activated contact poison that was coated inside the right half of a masquerade costume she wore by an exceptionally cruel would-be assassin. Her hand was burned so badly it had to be replaced with a brass prosthetic, which hides bladelike claws within the fingers.
Her boyfriend, none too pleased, then decides to do this to the guy who took out the hit. By putting half his body in concrete, so it necrotizes and rots.
In Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, one half of Deucalion's face was destroyed by the device that was meant to kill him for attacking his maker. A friend gives him a tattoo over it to help distract people from the extent of the damage. He is not a villain, however.
A non-villianous example in Twilight: Emily is quite beautiful, but has a great deal of scars on one side of her face due to incident in which her husband transformed FURSPLOSION.
In Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, Asher went through some torture involving holy water. Holy water acts as fairly serious acid on vampires. He ends up like this, complete with the hidden in shadow entrance.
Shotgun Suzie from the Nightside series wound up like this for a while after being struck in the face with a mace, then burned so that her werewolf blood transfusion couldn't fully repair the damage. Unusual not only in that she's not male or a villain, but in that she chose to keep it like that rather than use magic to fix it, as it suited her Bad AssBounty Hunter image.
A One-Scene Wonder named La Belle Dame Sans Merci had half her face a slightly different skintone, due to her replacing bits of her body with powerful beings she kills.
Self-inflicted horizontally by a deranged character in Clive Barker's Cabal, who literally peels off the skin from his lower face in an attempt to reveal his "real face" underneath. Hey, it's Clive Barker.
While it's never stated if Quirrell's good-looking, there's a reason why the last chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is called "The Man With Two Faces." The back of his face is the horrendously ugly, snake-like Voldemort.
Morthûl, the Charnel King from The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell. He's a lich variant who is literally caught between life and death: one half of his body is a skeleton, while the other half is... still pretty unpleasant to look at, judging by the artist renditions of him, but at least it has flesh.
Brightheart from Warrior Cats had half of her face ripped off by dogs in A Dangerous Path. This left her with one beautiful part and one horrifically scarred part. However, she is not evil in the slightest.
Live Action TV
The killer in the Criminal Minds episode "Devil's Night" had exactly half his face covered in burn scars caused by a car crash.
A victim of one Monster of the Week on the Tremors series wound up looking like this, with half his face and one arm reduced to a mummified condition.
Rare (anti-)heroic example in Richard Harrow of Boardwalk Empire. He's a handsome man with horrific mutilation on one side of his face due to war injuries which he covers with a mask (meant to duplicate his face before the injuries, making it even more creepy). However, he's a charming, loyal and just man, albeit a merciless and very efficient killer when he needs to be.
In one Tales from the Crypt episode, the Villain Protagonist does this to himself to avert the curse he brought upon himself when he betrayed his friend to obtain a life preserving serum. Symbolically destroying his "evil" half was the only way to survive.
Farscape has the severely scarred Xhalax Sun, whose appearance isn't as grotesque as some examples on this page, but still counts. Also Stark, who wears a half-mask that covers one side of his face. The side of his face covered by the mask is Pure Energy, due to him being only semi-corporeal, and the mask is to stop the energy from leaking out.
Pam on True Blood, as a result of a witch's curse early Season 4. She only actually fits the trope for a few episodes, afterwhich the skin on the other half of her face sloughs off as well.
On Nikita, the title character splashes Roan with his own body-dissolving liquid, giving him this look.
Breaking Bad: This happens to Gus after Walt's bomb explodes. Gus strolls out of the room and straightens his tie, apparently unharmed. Then the camera pans around to the other side and we see that half of his head has been utterly destroyed, and he dies a couple seconds later.
Heroes: It happens to Nathan when He stopped Peter from exploding and saved New York. He got better.
In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Picard's face looked like this when he was undergoing his conversion into Locutus. The final product was more like 75% Borg.
Another non-villainous example is Major Sholto, John Watson's old military commander and the near-murder-victim in the Sherlock episode "The Sign of Three".
Unsurprisingly, album artwork for Tankard's Two Faced◊ depicts such a character.
Disturbed likes to do this with the band members' faces and their Mascot The Guy on much of their merchandise (MAAW IV seems to be the only place the shirts were available though)..
Myth And Legend
Older Than Print, the goddess of birth and death is depicted this way in many cultures, including many Native American and Central American legends. Hel from Norse Mythology may be the most famous. She was half beautiful maiden and half either crone or skeleton, depending on which myths you read. Sometimes depicted withered from waist down, instead of two-faced, though.
Janus, the Roman god of transitions, has a face on the back of his head so he can always see where he was (the past) as well as where he's going (the future).
Though, again depending on the myths you read, Janus was sometimes depicted as having a face on the right side of his head and a face on the left side.
Dick Tracy foe Haf-and-Haf, who resembles Two-Face to the point that some readers have thought Two-Face was a knock-off of Haf-and-Haf. Two-Face actually predates Haf-and-Haf by more than two decades (although it is possible that Chester Gould was unaware of the Batman character).
Naturally, Two-Face in Sega's Batman Forever. It's even invoked in the rules; there is a target for each half of Two-Face's face, and hitting two of them consecutively (both good, both bad, or one good and one bad) gives a reward according to what pair was scored.
In Exalted, the Big Bad "Mask of Winters" wears a helmet with two masks on opposite sides, one smiling, one frowning. When he wishes to change moods, he turns around, and all the joints in his body reverse.
Scion goes with the two-faced version of Hel for its version of the Aesir. It doesn't show if she takes on a physical form in the World, but you still feel it on some level.
Desmond LaRouche, a minor NPC from the Ravenloft setting, was rebuilt as a half-golem after one side of his body was destroyed in a laboratory accident.
Happens to Thomas Marik in BattleTech, where he manages to escape an assassination attempt that claims the lives of his brothers, but leaves him with terrible scarring across half his face (and it's implied the rest of his body on that side as well). He doesn't have a split personality but it turns out that he's been a fake, and that the real Thomas Marik became the Master of the Word of Blake and its Jihad.
Erik of the musical version of The Phantom of the Opera... how scarred he actually is once the mask comes off seems to change based on who is doing the makeup.
In Cirque du Soleil's Mystere, there is a group of creatures known as the Double Faces who perform the Chinese poles act. What the character description and picture at the official site don't note is that they wear their masks on the back of their heads; in passing the performers' actual faces are visible, but as the act is staged the creatures "prefer" to present only the mask side (all the masks are identical and creepy, verging on Uncanny Valley).
Spitface from Hero Factory, whose entire body is divided into different-styled halves, both with its own personality and voice. His shtick is that their constant squabbling always gives the heroes enough time to defeat him.
In the Megadrive/Super NES versions of Forever, Two-Face eschews an Ambidextrous Sprite, with different movesets depending on which side he's facing. The "Harvey" side packs a Tommy gun, while "Two-Face" is a Knife Nut and close-range fighter. He is also capable of restoring his health with the "coin of fate." Like in the film, Two-Face's gimmick is based around Acid Pools which decorate his hangout, and he plays second fiddle to the Riddler.
Arkham City focuses more on Harvey's background as an attorney: He's holed up in Gotham's courthouse where he conducts a Kangaroo Court proceeding on Catwoman, which doesn't turn out quite as intended. Catwoman uses her claws to slash the immaculate half of poor Harvey's face, then leaves with precisely half of his loot.
Maero in Saint's Row 2 after you put radioactive waste in his tattoo ink.
The corrupted council in Diablo 2 are half human and half demon, split vertically.
In Hitman Blood Money, we have ex-FBI Director and Unreliable Narrator Jack Alexander. An undisclosed 'accident' left him wheelchair-bound and flayed the skin from half his face.
The Twofaces and Double Talkers of Toontown Online. A rather odd example, as the fronts of their heads are blank, but they have two identical faces on each side, looking left and right.
Giacomo, the protagonist from Rise of Legends gets this look in the third and final campaign.
Ariel, the ghostly Guardian of Balance from Legacy of Kain, sports bare skull on the left side of her face.
Zaeed in Mass Effect 2, the resident Anti-Hero of Shepard's team, has gruesome scars and a cybernetic eye on the right side of his face, having survived a shot to the head when his fellow Blue Suns leader betrayed him.
New Destroyman, one of the opponents in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is cyborg right down the middle. After Travis bisected him in NMH, his halves were augmented and he came back in two bodies. One half is outwardly polite and favors ranged attacks, while the other is crude and favors melee.
In one of the rare non-villainous examples, Katawa Shoujo's Hanako Ikezawa. The entire right side of her body (including the lower right part of her head and face) is covered in serious burn scars, which she hides with concealing clothing. She received the burns as a child, when her house caught fire while her family was sleeping. It killed her parents, and she only survived when her mother shielded her with her own body.
Tharok of the Legion Of Superheroes bears mentioning again: If you're unfamiliar with the LOSH comics, when that one comes out in cartoon form, you'll probably say "hey, it's Metallo!" The cartoon versions of the two are nigh-identical.
Quintessons from Transformers Generation One had five faces, each with a different expression, that would rotate as their moods changed.
The Transformers Animated incarnation of Blitzwing has three faces, which likewise switch with his personalities.
The Mask has one episode where the titular mask is cropped in half, resulting in this effect when the protagonist and antagonist wear each half.
Plastic Man had a villain named half ape (one half of his body was human and the other half was gorilla's).
In WordGirl, Miss Power has Peek-a-Bangs, that when moved reveal that the hidden part of her face looks reptilian with a snake-like eye.
Subverted in Survival of the Fittest: While "Badass Johnny" Lancer's face is horribly scarred on the left side, he's actually a rather swell guy.
Played straight with Melina Frost, after getting a Molotov cocktail in her face, though. Even comes complete with Eye Scream.
In Tasakeru, the entire right side of Captain's head was horrifically scarred, according to Drake's stories of Squad 13.
In the MSF High Forums, Hel makes an appearance, and is played like this. Half beautiful woman, Half Corpse Bride. She's polite enough to wear a mask.
Al Capone only had his distinctive scars on one side of his face.
Jungle villagers in India sometimes wear realistic masks on the backs of their heads when they venture into the forest, believing that tigers are less likely to attack them if the cats can't tell which direction they're facing.
Peeling the facial skin halfway down from the forehead is a standard step in the performance of an autopsy, allowing unobstructed access to the cranium.